Retrofitting the architecture of an existing home can be expensive. But Ireland has various grants and funding options to make a home more disability-accessible.
Special home improvement grants are also available to adapt houses for people with disabilities from your local Area Health Board or Local Authority.
People on low incomes needing equipment such as level access showers, grab rails etc can apply for the Mobility Aids Grant which means their application will move through system more quickly. The maximum grant available will be 6,000 euro. You can employ an OT privately and recoup expenses up to 200 euro.
This provides assistance to housing associations, through the local authorities towards capital costs for accommodation, generally for one or two bedroomed units, to meet special housing needs such as those of the elderly, disabled, homeless or smaller families.
A rent supplement is available from the Community Welfare Officer for people in receipt of a disability payment who wish to live in private rented accommodation. The allowance is means tested but the 120 euro which may be earned from rehabilitative employment is disregarded for rent supplement.
The Essential Repairs Grant scheme is administered by the local authorities. The scheme is directed primarily at providing grant aid to elderly people living in poor housing conditions. It is intended to facilitate having those conditions improved sufficiently to allow people to remain in their homes for their lifetime and to prevent them having to move to a different area or to be rehoused by the local authority. The grant may cover 100% of the cost of the works.
This was introduced for the installation of central heating in existing local authority rented dwellings, which lacked such facilities. The scheme is administered locally and the planning and execution of works is a matter for each local authority. Under the programme a grant of 5,600 euro or up to 80% of the cost, whichever is the lesser, is payable for each house. The balance of the cost is met by the housing authority. In addition to central heating facilities the work may also include related energy improvement and smoke detection measures.
The affordable housing scheme allows lower income house buyers to buy newly constructed homes and apartments in areas where property prices have created an affordability gap for lower income house buyers. These properties are offered for sale to eligible first- time purchasers at prices significantly less than their actual market value. The houses are bought with a mortgage provided by the local authority.
Local Authority tenants and tenants of houses provided by voluntary bodies do not need to satisfy the income test. You are unlikely to be accepted for this scheme if your only income is a social welfare payment. Households may be entitled to a mortgage subsidy depending on their income in the previous tax year. If they are surrendering a tenant purchase house, a local authority house or a house provided by a voluntary body, they have the option of going for the mortgage subsidy or the Mortgage Allowance Scheme.
For further information contact your Local Authority.
This is a grant available to people with disabilities or to the family of the person with disabilities who are having their own house built to cover the cost of making the new house accessible at construction stage to a maximum of 14,500 euro. If you are building or renovating a house you may be entitled to a refund of VAT on aids and appliances for use by a disabled person. This includes bathroom fittings, walk in baths, lifting seats, hoists etc. VAT refund is also available on aids and appliances designed to assist a disabled person to overcome his/her disability in performing daily functions or in exercise or education e.g a computer. This grant is available to adapt a house to meet the accommodation needs of a person with a disability within the first year of the house’s completion. Where the costs are being met by the state, or by any public or local authority, VAT relief will not be due.
For tips and advice about designing homes for modifying homes and designing buildings to be more accessible click here
Disability Person’s Grant / Housing Adaptation Grant
Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability
Factsheets – Housing Grant